evacuation time of Sports venues in Manchester

Waiting for an internal review by Manchester City Council of their handling of this request.

Dear Manchester City Council,

Could you please provide me with the evacuation times for the sports stadiums of Manchester United Football Club, Old Trafford; Manchester City Football Club, City of Manchester Stadium; and of Lancashire Country Cricket Club, Old Trafford.
Furthermore could you please provide details of the evacuation plans in place for these stadiums and if they differ in how to respond to specific emergency's such as a fire or terrorist threat.
In addition can you note in each stadiums case whether the evacuation plan involves supporters being evacuated onto the pitch and if/where they do whether this is a route to an emergency exit or part of the evacuation procedure.

Yours faithfully,

Harry Raffal

Manchester City Council

Dear Mr Raffal

Re: Request for Information - Reference No: CEX/8ANGRY

Thank you for your request for information which was received by Manchester
City Council on 26th October 2010.

Please note that it may take up to 20 working days (approximately 4 weeks)
for the Council to consider your request and to provide a formal response.

If this timescale needs to be extended to consider an exemption you will be
notified and kept informed.

If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Regards

Cath Cryer
Democratic Services
PO Box 532
Town Hall
Albert Square
Manchester
M60 2LA

Tel: 0161 234 3766
Fax: 0161 274 7007
Email: [Manchester City Council request email]
www.manchester.gov.uk

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Dear Manchester City Council,

My request for information made under the freedom of information act has not been responded to within the legal time limit. I am therefore requesting an internal review. Please note you are still obliged to provide me with the information requested. If you could provide me with a reference number for the internal review I would be most grateful.

Yours faithfully,

Harry Raffal

Anthony Parker-Roberts, Manchester City Council

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Harry Raffal

Further to your request dated 26th October 2010 please see the attached
reply.

Kind Regards

Anthony Parker-Roberts
Business Manager
Building Control Group 4
Tel: (External) 0161 234 4354
Tel: (Internal) 800 4354
[mobile number]
Email: [email address]

Postal address:
Manchester City Council
Chief Executives Department
Regeneration Division
Planning and Building Control Section
PO Box 532
M60 2LA

Location Address:
Number One First Street
Manchester
M15 4FN (sat nav systems use M1 5DE)
http://www.manchester.gov.uk/firststreet

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Dear Anthony Parker-Roberts,

Thank you for your response dated 30 November 2010 to my request for which you have assigned the reference CEX/8ANGRY. I'm afraid I must press you to undertake an internal review both in terms of the information provided and the time frame in which you handled this request.

Firstly let me state that I do not object to you with holding detailed outlines of the evacuation procedure. However, I am seeking to ascertain that the evacuation time does conform to the legal limit which as I understand it would be eight minutes. I do not believe withholding that information can be maintained by the qualified exemption in place.
Furthermore, I am endeavouring to ensure that the evacuation plan does not place spectators of Manchester City's events onto the pitch as a part of the evacuation plan as this would be in breach of the Football Licensing Authority dictats on the matter of stadia safety, of course it is viable to use the pitch as a route. Confirming this aspect again does not seem to be exempt although it has more validity than the time taken to evacuate.
I believe the council is quite capable of indicating that it has different evacuation plans on paper for specific events without revealing the specific details. How the public interest could be hurt by knowing you have planned for different contingencies or not is beyond me. If of course the council hasn't different contingencies in place,which I believe is unlikely to be the case, then the test would be would public interest be best served by revealing this deficiency so it could be rectified.

Finally your response was outside of the legal limit allowed for by the freedom of Information act. Given the entire absence of information and the broad handed application of the health and safety exemption you utilise can not have taken over twenty days to test against the public interest. Therefore, I believe it is entirely appropriate to ask that the internal review seeks to analyse why this has occurred.

I would appreciate it if you would inform if the reference for the internal review will be the same as mentioned in this email or not. Also you will note I requested an internal review on the 24 November and you have twenty working days from this point to answer the time limit aspect of this internal review. If you have objections or queries regarding any aspect of this request for an internal review please don't hesitate to contact me so that they maybe remedied rapidly and no further inconvenience occurs.

Yours sincerely,

Harry Raffal

Manchester City Council

Dear Mr Raffal

Re: Request for Information - Internal Review - CEX/8ANGRY-1

Thank you for your email dated 30th November 2010 regarding your request
for an internal review.

Your request for an internal review will be dealt with in accordance with
the Council’s Access to Information Complaint Procedure. The procedure
is available on the Council’s web site at:
http://www.manchester.gov.uk/site/script...

We will look into the reason for the delay and contact you again as soon
as possible.

Yours sincerely

Cath Cryer
Information Compliance Unit
Democratic Services
PO Box 532
Town Hall
Albert Square
Manchester
M60 2LA

Email: [Manchester City Council request email]
Website: www.manchester.gov.uk

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Dear Manchester City Council,

I have been exceedingly patient in awaiting a response to my request for an internal review. The original request was made on the 24 November 2010 and it is now 14 January 2011. Manchester City Council is now in breach of the Freedom of Information Act which states that I should be informed should any delays to the Internal review require the public authority in question to exceed the 20 working day time limit. furthermore i have taken the trouble to phone the council to press the matter an have still not received any response on the progress being made on my case. Should I not here from you soon I shall be obliged to contact the Information commissioner

Yours faithfully,

Harry Raffal

Steve Mycio, Manchester City Council

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Raffal

Please find attached response to your Freedom of Information Request.

Steve Mycio

Steve Mycio
Deputy Chief Executive
Manchester City Council
Tel : 0161 234 3031
Internal : 800 3031
Fax : 0161 274 7011
E-mail : [email address]
Website address: www.manchester.gov.uk

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Dear Steve Mycio,

Thank you for providing me with the results of your internal review and the additional information released as a result of your conclusions.

However, I would like to make a complaint about the length of time it took between my request for an internal review and the councils response. As Im sure you know the Information Commission provides the following advice on internal reviews:

In view of all the above the Commissioner considers that a reasonable time for completing an internal review is 20 working days from the date of the request for review. There may be a small number of cases which involve exceptional circumstances where it may be reasonable to take longer. In those circumstances, the public authority should, as a matter of good practice,
notify the requester and explain why more time is needed.
In our view, in no case should the total time taken exceed 40 working days.

(source ICO good practise guide available at http://www.ico.gov.uk/upload/documents/l...

I would appreciate knowing whether the council believes that this case involved exceptional circumstances. Many internal reviews involve challenges to qualified exemptions and given my clarification and objection to the broad handed nature of the exemption used and the relatively limited additional information released I would question whether this case was exceptional.

You'll note the Commission also suggests that any internal review conducted by a public body which will take longer than 20 days should involve the public body providing a notification of this fact. Can you please explain why the council doesn't follow this procedure?

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 stipulates in section 45 paragraph 42 that public bodies should set target times for dealing with any complaints. I would appreciate if in your response you would provide me with the councils current target times. The code of practise in section 45 regarding complaints also recommends that public bodies review target times regularly and publish them together with its success in meeting those targets. Can you please provide me with details as to where the council has published this information. If it has not done so would you be kind enough to provide an explanation as to why these details haven't been published as well as providing me with the details if possible.
Please accept my apologies if this causes you any inconvenience but given the difficulties I encountered in my case I feel it is important to ascertain how well the council is complying with both the letter of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and with its spirit.

Yours sincerely,

Harry Raffal

Steve Mycio, Manchester City Council

Dear Mr Raffal

Thank you for your e-mail of 24th January 2011. I will ensure a more
detailed response is forthcoming shortly.

Yours sincerely
Steve Mycio

Steve Mycio
Deputy Chief Executive
Manchester City Council
Tel : 0161 234 3031
Fax : 0161 274 7011
E-mail : [email address]
Website address: www.manchester.gov.uk

Harry Raffal To Steve Mycio
<[FOI #50184 email]> <[email address]>
cc
24/01/2011 11:23 Subject Internal review of Freedom
of Information request -
evacuation time of Sports
venues in Manchester

Dear Steve Mycio,
Thank you for providing me with the results of your internal review
and the additional information released as a result of your
conclusions.

However, I would like to make a complaint about the length of time
it took between my request for an internal review and the councils
response. As Im sure you know the Information Commission provides
the following advice on internal reviews:

In view of all the above the Commissioner considers that a
reasonable time for completing an internal review is 20 working
days from the date of the request for review. There may be a small
number of cases which involve exceptional circumstances where it
may be reasonable to take longer. In those circumstances, the
public authority should, as a matter of good practice,
notify the requester and explain why more time is needed.
In our view, in no case should the total time taken exceed 40
working days.

(source ICO good practise guide available at
http://www.ico.gov.uk/upload/documents/l...

I would appreciate knowing whether the council believes that this
case involved exceptional circumstances. Many internal reviews
involve challenges to qualified exemptions and given my
clarification and objection to the broad handed nature of the
exemption used and the relatively limited additional information
released I would question whether this case was exceptional.

You'll note the Commission also suggests that any internal review
conducted by a public body which will take longer than 20 days
should involve the public body providing a notification of this
fact. Can you please explain why the council doesn't follow this
procedure?

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 stipulates in section 45
paragraph 42 that public bodies should set target times for dealing
with any complaints. I would appreciate if in your response you
would provide me with the councils current target times. The code
of practise in section 45 regarding complaints also recommends that
public bodies review target times regularly and publish them
together with its success in meeting those targets. Can you please
provide me with details as to where the council has published this
information. If it has not done so would you be kind enough to
provide an explanation as to why these details haven't been
published as well as providing me with the details if possible.
Please accept my apologies if this causes you any inconvenience but
given the difficulties I encountered in my case I feel it is
important to ascertain how well the council is complying with both
the letter of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and with its
spirit.

Yours sincerely,
Harry Raffal

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Steve Mycio, Manchester City Council

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Raffal

Please find attached my further response to your Freedom of Information
Request.

Steve Mycio

Steve Mycio
Deputy Chief Executive
Manchester City Council
Tel : 0161 234 3031
Internal : 800 3031
Fax : 0161 274 7011
E-mail : [email address]
Website address: www.manchester.gov.uk

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Dear Steve Mycio,

Thank you for your reply of 4 February 2011. Unfortunately the link you have provided doesn't open automatically in the format you have supplied the document, nor can it be copied and pasted. I have manually entered the address several times in my browser but the councils website informs me the document is no longer available. I'm sure you wouldn't have provided me with a broken url so perhaps you could check what I have entered and see if I have made a mistake. http://www.manchester.gov.uk/egov_downlo...
(having previewed this message in the format it will be sent on whatdotheyknow.com it seems this url will open but you wont be able to read all of it, therefore in case it fails to open I have entered it below with space marks between part) http:// www. manchester. gov. uk/ egov_ downloads_ 3_ FOIA. pdf

I am apprehensive from the wording of your letter that the document you have supplied will not include details of when the council last discussed its current targets. I do not want to jump the gun without seeing the document in question but if it does not I would appreciate you facilitating me with the relevant details

Furthermore your response fails to address a specific point. Why the council does not comply with the ICO good practise guidance which advises in any case where an internal review will take longer than 20 days the public authority should contact the recipient and inform them of the reasons for taking the maximum length of time permitted.
As I'm sure you know until I phoned the council I had not been informed of the progress being made on this internal review.
Whilst you are correct to state that I was provided with the councils procedures you should also be aware that even where a public authority has stated the maximum legal limit the ICO good practise guidance should still be followed. You have not informed me of why the Council fails to adhere to these guidelines.

Yours sincerely,

Harry Raffal

Stephen Hollard, Manchester City Council

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Raffal

I understand from your most recent email to Steve Mycio that you have had
difficulty in accessing the report referred to by him in his email sent to
you earlier this morning. It appears that when retyping the link he
provided, you have inadvertently replaced the forward slash following the
word "downloads" with an underscore. The correct url is as follows:

http://www.manchester.gov.uk/egov_downlo...

For your convenience, I also attach a pdf of the document concerned.

I note that you raise other concerns in your email. These shall be
addressed in a separate response.

Regards
Stephen Hollard
Senior Legal Officer
Democratic and Statutory Services
Chief Executive's Department
Manchester City Council
Room 401
Town Hall
Manchester
M60 2LA

Tel: 0161 234 3336 (Internal: 800 3336)
Fax: 0161 274 7007 (Internal: 800 7007)
[email address]

http://www.manchester.gov.uk

Information in this message is confidential and may be legally privileged.
If you are not the intended recipient please notify the sender and please
delete the e-mail from your system immediately. This e-mail is not to be
disclosed to the Local Government Ombudsman or any other person without
permission of the author.

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Dear Stephen Hollard,

Thank you for your prompt reply. The hyper link provided in your latest message works perfectly. I was sure I must be typing the url in incorrectly but I couldn't for the life of me identify where. Thank you for taking the time to resolve this issue. I look forward to the councils full reply to my other points.

Yours sincerely,

Harry Raffal

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